Music & Arts Community Center
Dr. Andrew M. Kurtz
2020-2021 Season Sponsor: Gunterberg Charitable Foundation – Culliton Family
Eleomar Cuello Calles
Presented in one act, without intermission.
Italy, 1950. Nemorino, a young villager, is unhappily in love with the beautiful land owner Adina, who he thinks is beyond his reach. Adina tells the gathered peasants about the book she is reading—the story of how Tristan won the heart of Isolde by drinking a magic love potion. This is interrupted by the pompous Sergeant Belcore, who immediately introduces himself to Adina and asks her to marry him.
Adina declares that she is in no hurry to marry or make up her mind but she promises to think over the offer. Left alone with Nemorino, Adina tells him that his time would be better spent in town, looking after his sick uncle, than hoping to win her love. She suggests that he do as she does and change affections every single day. Nemorino reminds her that one can never forget one’s first love.
Dr. Dulcamara, a traveling purveyor of patent medicines, arrives in the village advertising a potion capable of curing anything. Nemorino shyly asks him if he sells the elixir of love described in Adina’s book. Dulcamara claims he does, slyly proffering a bottle of simple Bordeaux. He explains that Nemorino will have to wait until the next day—when the doctor will be gone—to see the results Though it costs him his last fifty cents, Nemorino buys and immediately drinks it.. Nemorino begins to feel the effect of the “potion” and, convinced he will be irresistible to Adina the next day, feigns cheerful indifference towards her. Surprised and hurt, Adina flirts with Belcore. When orders arrive for the sergeant to return immediately to his post, Adina agrees to marry him at once. The shocked Nemorino begs her to wait one more day, but she dismisses him and invites everyone to her wedding. Nemorino desperately calls for the doctor’s help.
At the pre-wedding feast, Adina and Dulcamara entertain the guests with a song. Meanwhile, Nemorino asks Dulcamara for another bottle of the elixir. Since he doesn’t have any money left, the doctor agrees to wait so Nemorino can find the money. Nemorino tells Belcore that he needs money right away, and the sergeant persuades him to join the army and receive the bonus.
Nemorino buys more elixir and suddenly finds himself besieged by Gianetta. Unaware of the news that his uncle has died and left him a fortune, he believes the elixir is finally taking effect. Adina feels responsible for Nemorino’s enlistment, but her concern turns to jealousy when she sees him another woman. Dulcamara boasts about the power of his elixir and offers to sell Adina some, but she is determined to win Nemorino all on her own.
Nemorino now feels sure that Adina cares for him: He noticed a tear on her cheek when she saw him with the other women. Adina returns to tell Nemorino that she has bought back his enlistment papers. When he again feigns indifference, she finally confesses that she loves him. Belcore appears to find the two embracing and redirects his affections to Giannetta, declaring that thousands of women await him elsewhere. Dulcamara brags to the crowd that his miraculous potion can make people fall in love and even turn poor peasants into millionaires.
Praised by Opera News for the “clear beauty” of her voice and her “spot-on comic timing,” mezzo-soprano Sarah Nordin brings an exquisite blend of vocal artistry and strong dramatic instincts to a variety of repertoire across opera and concert stages. Ms. Nordin’s 2017-2018 season features several role debuts including Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Geneva Light Opera, Dama in Macbeth at Opera Tampa, and The Conductor – a role written specifically for her – in the world premiere of Dan Montez’s In bocca al lupo! at Taconic Opera.
An accomplished Mozartean, Ms. Nordin has garnered critical acclaim for her interpretation of several of the composer’s most memorable roles. Recently, she made her debut as Zerlina in Don Giovanni at Opera Orlando and Geneva Light Opera. She has sung Dorabella in Così fan tutte a number of times, including at Opera Tampa, Winter Opera of St. Louis, and Opera Orlando. The St. Louis Post praised her “rich mezzo-soprano that fit Mozart’s music like a glove” and Ladue News called her singing “uniformly splendid.” She has also appeared as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro at Opera del West and Long Island Opera, as Marcellina at Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre, and as Third Lady in the The Magic Flute with Salt Marsh Opera. Her upcoming Mozart roles are Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with Geneva Light Opera and Second Lady in The Magic Flute with The Imperial Symphony Orchestra.
Other notable engagements for the mezzo-soprano include Charlotte in Werther with Gulfshore Opera, the title role in Carmen with Livingston Symphony Orchestra, Komponist in Ariade auf Naxos with St. Petersburgh Opera, Alma March in Little Women at Opera North, Flora in La Traviata at Missouri Symphony and Opera Tampa, Zita in Gianni Schicchi at Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre, and both Meg in Falstaff and Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri at Taconic Opera. The Finger Lakes Times praised her recent portrayal of Prince Orlofsky with Geneva Light Opera as “lush-voiced” and “outstanding.” Additionally, Ms. Nordin created the role of Mary Eden Thompson in the regional three-year tour of the new musical The Circuit Rider’s Wife and can be heard on its original cast recording.
On the concert stage, Ms. Nordin has appeared as alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Church of the Guardian Angel Manhattan, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Ocala Symphony Orchestra, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Orlando Philharmonic, among others. She has appeared in The Metropolitan Opera’s productions of Les Troyens, Parsifal, Otello, Boris Godunov, Nabucco, and Turandot as a member of their professional ensemble. She has been featured in three HD Live Broadcasts and toured with The Met to Japan in 2012. She has also toured internationally as a soloist with the American Spiritual Ensemble.
Ms. Nordin has participated in several prestigious Young Artist programs, among them Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Central City Opera, Caramoor, Opera North, and Opera Orlando. She is also an award-winning ballroom dancer, accomplished french horn player, and costume designer. She received her B.M. from Lee University and her M.M. from University of Tennessee.
Hailed by Opera News as “the very picture of youthful optimism and potential,” John Kaneklides’ “tenor voice cuts through all others with its richness and warmth” (Broadway World). Son of a music teacher, the North Carolina-born singer grew up performing throughout the Charlotte area. After five years in finance, he decided to return to his musical roots and pursue a professional singing career.
In the 2017-18 season Mr. Kaneklides reprised three of his now-signature roles, Alfredo in La traviata, the title role in Les contes d’Hoffmann, and Rodolfo in La bohème. He also joined Gulfshore Opera as a Professional Artist-In-Residence where he was featured as The Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, Camille in The Merry Widow, and the title role in Faust in concerts throughout the region. For his debut in Les contes d’Hoffmann with St. Petersburg Opera, The Tampa Bay Times said, “[he] makes for a mesmerizing lead as the poet Hoffmann, equipped with matinee idol looks and an electric sound that continues to surprise.”
He has also premiered a new English translation of the operatic classic The Tales of Hoffmann, performing the title role with Skylight Music Theatre. Critics hailed his performance as “breathtakingly sublime” (Broadway World) and proclaimed, “his warm tenor fills the theater with both the giddiness of new love and its tragic loss, desperation and despair” (On Milwaukee). Known for his English language interpretation of opera and new works, he created the double role of The Guide turned Narciso Borgia in the world première of Harold Blumenfeld’s Borgia Infami with Winter Opera St. Louis. His performance was lauded as “remarkably strong and clear…no need to glance at the supertitles when this man is singing.” John Kaneklides has portrayed Laurie in Mark Adamo’s Little Women, Micah in Carlisle Floyd’s Slow Dusk, and Villers, Duke of Buckingham in the New York première of Floyd’s newest work, Prince of Players. His performances were “totally convincing and [he] delivered a fine aria in which every word, enunciated in a plummy English accent, was understandable” (Voce Di Meche).
Equally comfortable in operetta and musical theatre, he has performed roles ranging from Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore and Nanki-Poo in The Mikado to Henrik in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music and Lt. Joseph Cable in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. Broadway World exclaimed,
“John Kaneklides is sensation, one of the best interpretations of the part [of Lt. Cable] I have ever seen. Tall and good-looking…Kaneklides makes us care for Cable and undertand his plight… whenever he sings, his glorious voice makes the audience melt.”
His other repertoire includes Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Jeník in The Bartered Bride, Nemorino in L’elisire d’amore, Fenton in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Cassio in Otello, Pong in Turandot, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, and tenor soloist in oratorio standards such as Mendelssohn’s’ Elijah and Handel’s Messiah.
Mr. Kaneklides has participated in the young artist programs of Bel Canto at Caramoor and Opera North. He is an award-winner, receiving honors from several prestigious vocal competitions, such as The International Liederkranz Foundation Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Arkansas & South Carolina District, The Orpheus National Competition, The Opera Guild of Charlotte Competition, and The Nico Castel International Master Singer Competition.
Eleomar Cuello Calles was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1994, but he lived in Chile from 2015-2020 and now lives in Miami USA. He graduated from the Academy of the National Lyric Theater of Cuba in 2013, where he studied with Adolfo Casas.
He has participated in master classes with Jennifer Larmore, Alessandro Corbelli, and David Livermore among others. He also completed a postgraduate in German Lied offered by the Higher Institut of Arts of Cuba and the Liceum Mozartiano of Habana in 2013. That same year he was the winner of the second prize in the National Singing Contest “Ernesto Lecuona” in Cuba.
Despite his young age, Eleomar Cuello already enjoys extensive stage experience through international level. In the Great Theater of Havana, and in the National Theater of Cuba, it was member of the stable body of soloists. Among the repertoire that he sang in these theaters was find Papageno (Die Zauberflöte-Mozart), Barone Douphol (La Traviata-Verdi), Schaunard (La Bohème-Puccini). With those same roles he appeared at the Opera of Daejeon offrom South Korea.
Other roles played by the young baritone in Cuba include Escamillo (Carmen-Bizet), Masetto (Don Giovanni-Mozart), Uberto (La serva padrona-Pergolesi), Polifemo (Acis and Galatea-Händel), among others. At the Rubén Darío Theater from Nicaragua also sing Zúñiga and Morales (Carmen-Bizet). In Chile, has sung the title role of Don Giovanni (Mozart), as well as the Silvio (Pagliacci-Leoncavallo) both at the Rancagua Regional Theater; Mamma Agata (Leconvenienze ed inconvenienze teatrale-Donizetti) at the Municipal Theater of Las Condes; Apolon and Pluton (Orfeo-Monteverdi) at the Teatro Oriente; and Escamillo (Carmen-Bizet) in the Monumental Crescent of Rancagua; and Schaunard (La Bohème-Puccini) at the Regional Theater of Maule. Notably, he has been a regular guest of the prestigious Municipal Theater from Santiago for a couple of years; the Marques d’Obigny has sung in that venue (La Traviata-Verdi), Masetto (Don Giovanni-Mozart), Sciarrone (Tosca-Puccini), Fiorello (Il Barbiere di Siviglia-Rossini), Guglielmo (Così fan Tutte-Mozart), Haly (L’italiana in Algeri-Rossini), and Valentin (Faust-Gounod).
He recently debuted at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid as the José Dolores Pimienta (Cecilia Valdés-Roig) in January 2020, And soon he will return in 2022 for the Spanish opera Don Gil de Alcala of Manuel Penella.
In 2020 he was the winner of the second prize of the first Veronica Villaroel International Singing Festival in Chile. He has also participated in recordings of the integral work of guitar and voice of Harold Gramadgtes, as well as the complete work for voice and piano by Ernesto Lecuona.
Possessing a voice described as “robust and resonant” by TheatreMania and deemed a “standout” by Opera Magazine, bass Tyler Putnam brings a combination of intelligent musicianship and spirited dramatic interpretation to a wide variety of repertoire across the United States.
In 2014, he made his Off-Broadway debut with The Little Opera Theatre of NY at 59E59 in the title role of Carlisle Floyd’s Markheim. Opera News wrote, “Tyler Putnam gave a superb performance in the title role, alternately self-serving, malevolent and tragic. Markheim is something of a tour de force for bass, and Putnam proved more than up to the task.” Mr. Putnam has also appeared as Babayan (Bartolo) in ¡FIGARO 90210!, Vid Guerrerio’s multicultural re-imagining of the Mozart/DaPonte classic presented by Ragman Ventures, LLC at the Hopkins Center for the Arts (Dartmouth College), which he later covered on Broadway at The Duke on 42nd Street.
Mr. Putnam’s strong dramatic instincts have made him memorable in a variety of musical theatre and operetta roles. Luther Billis in South Pacific has become one of the bass’s signature characters, which he debuted at Opera North (NH) and reprised at St. Petersburg Opera (FL), garnering praise from BroadwayWorld.com: “In the key, clownish role of Luther Billis, Tyler Putnam was a hoot!” He also appeared as Macheath in The Threepenny Opera with The Princeton Festival, The Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance and Pooh-Bah in The Mikado with Raylynmor Opera, Franz Liebkind in The Producers and Steven Kodaly in She Loves Me at New London Barn Playhouse.
Mr. Putnam has been awarded the Career Development Award from The Sullivan Foundation, the Top Prize from Career Bridges, the Randolph “Randy” Mickelson Memorial Fund Award for Excellence in Singing, and was District Winner (Boston) of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. Originally from Chebeague Island Maine, Mr. Putnam is a graduate of Dartmouth College.
Stephanie McCranie, Soprano was born and raised in Florida and holds a Masters of Music from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and a Bachelors of Music Education from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. She has a deep background in the opera and classical world with performances all of the world, but has also been on stage in many musicals and even performed in Christian rock bands. Stephanie has served as voice faculty for University of Tampa, Texas A&M University Commerce and University of the Incarnate Word.
Andrew M. Kurtz
Music & Executive Director
Gulf Coast Symphony founder Dr. Andrew M. Kurtz enters his twenty-sixth season as the Symphony’s Music & Executive Director, and conductor. His deep rooted commitment to new work, community and education, combined with a vibrant artistic vision has led to creating and nurturing one of the most dynamic arts organizations in the region. His conducting has been called “passionate, expansive, expert, and musical.” He was named the 2007 Performing Artist of the Year at Lee County’s Angel of the Arts Awards. Kurtz’s repertoire encompasses a wide range of music styles from baroque to contemporary, and multiple genres including symphonic, opera, ballet, musical theater, jazz, cantorial, and symphonic pops.
An avid arts educator, Maestro Kurtz was Resident Music Director at the Luzerne Music Center. Kurtz is a past-president of the board of the Lee County Alliance for the Arts. In 2001, he won First Prize in the Dell’Arte di Firenze International Conducting Competition, and made his European conducting debut in Florence. In 1995, Kurtz made his international operatic debut in Tel Aviv while working as a staff conductor at the Israel Vocal Arts Institute. In 1997, he conducted the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s educational tour production of The Best of Puccini. He was a scholarship conducting student at the prestigious Aspen Music Festival, and boasts numerous other conducting credits, including the Pennsylvania Opera Theater, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Charlotte Symphony, Gonzaga Symphony, and the Ocean City Pops.
Kurtz completed his doctoral studies in conducting at the Peabody Conservatory and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia where he received his master’s degree in music history and a bachelor of arts in music and drama. A native of Philadelphia, Kurtz has called Southwest Florida home for more than 28 years, where he currently resides with his wife, Julie, and their son, Benjamin.
A native of Winter Park, Florida, bass-baritone and stage director Vincent Connor holds a bachelor’s degree and performance certificate from The College of Music at Florida State University as well as a Master’s Degree in voice with emphasis in stage direction from The University of Arizona.
An experienced stage performer, Mr. Connor has also established himself in the directing world. This past year he made his television debut with WGN’s hit series Manhattan as a singing actor and director. He has been praised by Living at the Opera for his “…remarkable directorial touches.” and others for his productions containing “dynamic energy” and “nuance and balance.”
Mr. Connor is a passionate believer in opera outreach and education, and has continually directed full productions and scenes throughout his career working with universities and companies such as The University of Delaware, where he was Director of Opera Workshop, The University of Arizona, UMKC Conservatory, The University of Pennsylvania, Opera in the Ozarks, Marble City Opera, Brevard Music Festival; Janiec Opera, Arizona Onstage productions, and Opera North.
Aside from his operatic endeavors, Mr. Connor has a passion for fusing music and business as an active entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and managing director of the online publicationMotivate! Educate! Resonate!, Sexi Soprano.
As a performer, Mr. Conner is at home both on the operatic and musical theater stages, He has mastered the roles of Pooh-bah in The Mikado, Dentist in Little Shop of Horrors, Thomas Putnam in The Crucible, Geronimo in Il Matrimonio Segreto, Superintendent Budd in Albert Herring,Leporello in Don Giovanni, Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, and Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, among others. As an apprentice artist, Mr. Connor has appeared with Asolo Opera Festival, College Light Opera Company, Wichita Grand Opera, Opera in the Ozarks and Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre.
Molly Goodwin, Stage Manager
Molly Goodwin recently completed a 9-month international tour of Sister Act in Singapore, Manila, China, Tokyo, and Seoul, and she spent the 2016 holiday season as the Production Assistant for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Her previous National Tour credits include: The Wizard of Oz, Sister Act, Ghost, West Side Story, Blast, and Legally Blonde. Regional Credits include: Santa Fe Opera (Santa Fe, NM), The Warehouse Theatre (Greenville, SC), Creede Rep (Creede, CO), The Commonweal Theatre Co (Lanesboro, MN), and Timber Lake Playhouse (Mt. Carroll, IL). She has managed the live entertainment aboard Holland America cruise ships sailing to destinations in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and Alaska. Notable grad school credit: Celine Dion’s A NEW DAY: Live in Las Vegas. Goodwin holds a BA in Theatre/Dance from Luther College (Decorah, IA) and is a summa cum laude graduate with an MFA in Stage Management from UNLV (Las Vegas, NV). A native Midwesterner, Molly has called the road her home since 2008.
Christian Londos, Technical/Lighting Director
Christian Londos is a technical director with a background in lighting design and scenic design. Christian has a passion for story telling and contributing to the larger aesthetic of each production. He holds a BFA in Technical Theatre from Florida Southern College in Lakeland Florida.
Michelle Kasanofsky, Rehearsal Pianist
Michelle Kasanofsky has been playing piano for almost 56 years and is a professional musician as well as a music educator. Michelle received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston and studied jazz piano there as well as studying classical piano at Boston University. She completed her B.A. degree in performance cum laude at Dowling College in Oakdale, New York where she studied classical pedagogy under the tutelage of the world renowned piano maestro, Dr. Carlo Lombardi. Michelle continued on to achieve her Master’s Degree in Music Education from C. W. Post Long Island University in Greenvale, New York in 1998 and in 2016 completed her Education Leadership Specialist degree from Nova Southeastern University.
Diana Waldier, Costume Designer
Haydn, Bartók, and Borodin performed by talented students from the Frost School of Music
Jodi Benson, David Burnham, and Marc Cedric Smith perform film and Broadway favorites.